| | The Manatee Messenger Bringing you the latest news about West Volusia's
special events, area attractions and lodging promotions
Volusia and Alice Reunite
Volusia has been going in and out of Blue Spring since late October. The weather hasn't been consistently cold enough to drop the temperature of the waters in the St. Johns River for the manatees to seek refuge. We think Volusia just wants to see if any of her playmates have arrived yet and she wants attention from the park goers.
Remember in Part 5 we shared information about manatees and their eating habits? They spend half their day looking for food and eating and the rest of the time sleeping. Most manatees will sink to the bottom of the spring run and rest on the sandy bottom. They can stay underwater this way for up to 15 minutes before rising to the surface to breathe. Volusia ventures out into the river for food and then returns to the spring run to sleep. But our special manatee, who constantly craves attention, doesn't want to miss an opportunity so she sleeps on her back!
Volusia was doing just that a few weeks ago when she was startled out of her nap by a gentle nudge. As she rolled over, she heard a familiar sound. It was Alice, her mother, who Volusia had not seen since the summer in Lake George. That's where Alice left Volusia to grow up on her own. Although four adventurous months have gone by, Volusia was ecstatic and joyfully gave Alice gentle head butts and wrapped her flippers around her mom to give a hug.
Now that Volusia has become independent, Alice doesn't mind hanging with her. Alice was five when she had Volusia and still has a playful spirit, which is noticeable when she is not pregnant or has a calf to take care of. Volusia took delight in showing her mom some of her new skills, rolling and snorting and swimming in circles around Alice. It's going to be a fun winter for Volusia , especially when her friends Duffy and Pal return to Blue Spring!
Next month: There's nothing to be afraid of!
Volusia's Adventures is an ongoing series of entertaining articles that illustrate typical manatee activities based on known behaviors and traits. Follow Volusia each month on her journey along the magnificent and historic St. Johns River to see what exciting situations she gets into.
It's a White Christmas at the
Experience the Magic of Christmas
at Florida's First Luxury Estate, the "Crown Jewel" of Central Florida
Designer decorations from around the world adorn the first floor and the School House. Visitors to the Stetson Mansion will be guided through the home by a knowledgeable tour guide as holiday music from the baby grand player piano wafts in the background. These enchanting tours lead guests up three floors through 8 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms while being fed the history of the mansion as well as detailing the inspiring story of the new owners' 4 year restoration.
Tours offered November 15th - January 15th
Day Tours & "Stetson by Night" Tours Available
Admission $17 per person
One child free with each paid adult, additional children $8
Special group rates available
All tours must be booked in advance by calling Kent 386-490-2054
or JT 386-873-0167.
For the first time ever, award winning designer Linda Pelletier, will offer her magnificent holiday wreaths at 40% off for guests who have taken a tour.
Have Fun with Foursquare! Friday, December 16th
Downtown DeLand featuring
Mark your calendars and join us for the festivities!
Caroling Night Downtown
- December 16th: Enjoy the spirit of the season while singing holiday favorites and strolling the Winter Wonderland on Woodland Boulevard. Snow has been predicted to fall on the streets of downtown DeLand every Friday night during the month of December. Bring the family and start a new tradition!
Fun with Foursquare - Spend the evening downtown taking in a wonderful assortment of shops, galleries, and restaurants during the Merchant Open House on December 2nd. While you're shopping for the holidays, be sure to check in on foursquare from your smartphone. Take advantage of discounts at participating stores, restaurants and area lodging! Visit our website for details: visitwestvolusia.com/foursquare
Tee up for some of the best golfing in Central Florida with great priced golf packages! Golfers visiting West Volusia will be pleasantly surprised to find themselves playing championship courses with rolling hills and lush fairways more characteristic of the Carolinas.
*Price includes one 18-hole round of golf, cart and one bag of range balls per night stay, as well as accommodations (based on double occupancy) and breakfast.
In addition, each golfer receives a free eco-friendly golf gift and a chance to win a Wilson golf bag!
Prices valid until December 31, 2011.
FISHING ESCAPE PACKAGES
Packages including 2 nights accommodations and
a 1/2 day fishing trip from $368 (plus tax)
The West Volusia section of the St. Johns River, a federally designated American Heritage River, boasts some of the best fishing Florida has to offer. Largemouth black bass, warmouth, bluegill, specks, stripers and catfish abound. Our professional and knowledgeable guides will show you a great time. Not only is the fishing terrific here, but a day out on the soothing sun dappled waters of the majestic St. Johns surrounded by lush landscapes and native wildlife will refresh your spirit!
Hotel/Motel: Comfort Inn, DeLand
Conveniently located on U. S. Highway 92, just 15 miles west of the Daytona International Speedway and only minutes from Stetson University, Daytona Beach, Skydive DeLand, the Central Florida Zoological Park and the Volusia County Fair and Expo Center. Travelers will appreciate conveniences like free WIFI in all rooms and access to fax services. A business center with spacious meeting rooms is available for most events and business functions. 386-736-3100 www.comfortinn.com
Bed & Breakfast: Alling House Bed & Breakfast, Orange City This spacious 1908 home is centrally located just three miles east of Blue Spring State Park. There are three rooms and 5 cottages. Its Heart Pine wood floors are one of its most beautiful characteristics. The house is decorated in a comfortable Victorian style that reflects its heritage. Each room is decorated in a way that provides a uniquely refreshing experience, encourages stress to melt away and causes guests to forget about the cares of a busy routine. 386-775-7648 www.allinghousebb.com
Riverfront: Highland Park Fish Camp, DeLand
CLICK HERE for their FISHING ESCAPES PACKAGE PRICE .
Open since 1962 the campground and fish camp on the backwaters of the St. Johns River borders the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. 54 RV sites, 10 camping sites, 4 cabins. Modern cedar cabins on 30-acre fish camp and campground. Bedroom sleeps 4 plus convertible sofa, full kitchen and bath, with screened porch and rocking chairs. 93 wet slip boat stalls and 80 dry stalls. They have a complete bait and tackle shop, free river maps as well as a full line of pontoon, bass and small skiff boat rentals. Coast Guard licensed fishing guides available.
Campground: Blue Spring State Park, Orange City
This campground has 51 sites located in the sand pine scrub and within walking distance to the spring. Each site is equipped with a picnic table, water, electricity and a grill. A dump station is available in the park. Pets are welcome in camping area. This spring plays a vital role in the survival of one of Florida's most loved residents - the manatee. They can be observed from late November through March. 386-775-3663 www.floridastateparks.org/bluespring/
The West Volusia County area is a family-friendly destination that offers a variety of recreational and cultural activities for all ages. Experience our charming, small-town Florida communities, unique shopping, delightful restaurants and affordable accommodations. Below are a few
highlights from our Calendar of Events .
November 15, 2011-January 7, 2012: Stetson Mansion Christmas Tours, DeLand - Magical and awe inspiring are the best words to describe the estate and tour. 386-490-2054 or 386-873-0167 www.stetsonmansion.com/christmas-tours.html
December 1-11: Stetson Holiday Series, Deland - Christmas Candlelight Concerts featuring the Concert Choir and the Community School of the Arts Children's Choir Concert. 386-822-8950 www.stetson.edu/music/calendar/fall11/december.php
December 2: MainStreet Merchant Open House, DeLand - The shops and restaurants offer a great opportunity for holiday shopping with refreshments & discounts. Santa will also be available for picture taking. 386-738-0649 www.mainstreetdeland.org
December 3: 63rd Annual Jaycees Christmas Parade, DeLand - This year's theme is "Sights & Sounds of Christmas Past". 386-848-6041 www.delandchristmasparade.org
December 3: "The Nutcracker", DeBary - Gateway Center for the Arts and Volusia Dance Theatre present this holiday classic. 386-668-5553 www.gatewaycenterforthearts.org
December 3-4: Tour of Historic Homes, Lake Helen - The Christmas Home Tour includes 8 homes, 5 churches and 3 historic buildings decorated for the season. 386-228-9818 www.lakehelenchristmashometour.com
December 3-4: Winter ArtFest, Lake Helen - Just in time for your Christmas shopping, a spectacular array of arts and crafts that were made in Florida . Give something original and made in the USA. 386-228-9957
December 3-17: Teas and Trees, DeBary - Tours featuring tea tastings and treats in select rooms of DeBary Hall, will focus on Victorian traditions, the history of the Christmas tree, various Santa Claus stories, Christmas in America, and how a German family such as the DeBarys would have celebrated the holidays. 386-668-3840 www.debaryhall.com
December 5-21: Cardinal Holiday Village, DeLand - A scenic railroad layout depicting a 1920s-era, miniature mountain side town which has over 50 buildings, 250 people, scores of animals and dozens of vignettes. 386-822-9788
December 9-18: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever", DeLand - Athens Theatre and Sands Youth Theater Company present this hilarious Christmas tale. 386-736-1510 www.athenstheatre.org
December 10: St. Johns River Boat Parade, DeLand - Bring your blankets and pick a place along the river to enjoy this local tradition. 386-801-5685
December 10: Holiday Wreath Making, Deltona - The Lyonia Environmental Center is hosting a hands-on program in which you will make a natural wreath from pine trees, pine cones, ribbon and other supplies that will be provided. Registration is required. 386-789-7207, ext. 253 www.lyoniapreserve.com
December 10: Breakfast with Santa, DeLand - West Volusia Historical Society presents this special event. Have breakfast with Santa's elves, share your Christmas list with Santa and enjoy other holiday activities. 386-740-6813 www.delandhouse.com
December 16: Caroling Night Downtown, DeLand - Enjoy the spirit of the season while singing holiday favorites and strolling the Winter Wonderland on Woodland Boulevard. 386-738-0649 www.mainstreetdeland.org
E - Hickory Bluff Preserve, Osteen - 150 acres featuring trails through natural communities, including mesic and scrubby flatwoods, oak hammock, cypress domes, floodplain swamp and wet prairie. Group camping by permit. 386-740-5261
C - Deltona Arts & Historical Center, Deltona - Are you the next musical superstar? Drop a record demo at the Deltona Arts and Historical Center in Deltona. In addition to its two full service recording studios, the center features musical performances and art exhibits from traditional to contemporary. The location is also a historical library for the City of Deltona. 386-575-2601 www.deltonaarts.com
H - Stetson Mansion, DeLand - Take a tour of the Stetson Mansion, once the winter home of famous hat manufacturer John B. Stetson. Its blend of cottage, Gothic, Tudor, Moorish and Polynesian architectural details and magnificently decorated rooms inspire pure amazement. Christmas tours started on November 15th and continue until January 7th. All tours must be booked in advance, so make sure to call for availability. 386-490-2054 www.stetsonmansion.com/
O - Ed Stone Park, DeLand - You'll find easy access to the St. Johns River at Ed Stone Park, a popular county boat ramp and fishing park with ample trailer parking, a riverside boardwalk, benches for patrons, picnic pavilion with grills and restrooms. 386-736-5953 www.volusia.org/parks/edstone.htm
STOP BY AND SEE US!!!
West Volusia Tourism Bureau & Visitor Center Open seven days a week 116 W. New York Avenue, DeLand FL 32720 800-749-4350 - 386-734-0162 visitwestvolusia.com We also have a satellite visitor center at
DeBary Hall Historic Site 210 Sunrise Blvd., DeBary FL 32713 386-668-3840 - 386-736-5953 www.debaryhall.com